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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  June 15, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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child and, unfortunately, they couldn't find it. they had hoped with daylight perhaps they could have had more luck and in the daytime at a 6:30 a.m. press conference, they said this was still a search and rescue mission. they were holding out hope that the child would be found. sadly, as the days and hours passed, we realized the odds were against this child not oem because he was attacked by an alligator but also because we don't know the child's swimming capacity and the area it may have been in, the temperature of the water is another factor. so the odds, as everyone moment passes, was stacked against this child. sadly, we've confirmed the worst that his body was discovered after it was dragged down by the alligator. in the afternoon press briefing, the sheriff said this is about trying to bring comfort and some kind of closure and hopefully this will get them along that process. as you said, this is horrifying. how do you move something
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forward from something like this? the sheriff also said that disney is doing everything that they can to comfort the family. there were a lot of questions in that briefing, fair questions about what disney could have done to perhaps prevent this kind of thing. the sheriff essentially said that, you know, they have been in central florida for more than 47 years and they have handled situations not like this before but they've handled situations where there's been wildlife on their property before. they have an entire wildlife management division within disney to handle these kinds of situations. typically they observe these animals in their natural habitat and when they get to a certain size, they are moved to an area that is better for the animal and for the people in general. but in this case, obviously this was something that was un -- almost impossible to foresee in this situation, from what we've heard from officials. there were questions about potentially putting a fence around this lagoon. officials said that would not have been feasible because they
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are amphibious. they could have gone around the fence by going under water or on land. this is a huge lagoon where there are several hotel properties on the shore of this lagoon aside from magic kingdom itself and also connected through canals to other large bodies of fresh water. it's not that they were just looking in this one area. they had to scan an enormous chunk of land and water, rather, to look for this 2-year-old. sadly, again, as we mentioned at the top of the hour, the saddest news you can imagine, the 2-year-old's body was discovered by officials. now we hope to get some perspective on perhaps what can be done to move forward. disney closed down all of the beaches and it is property to be sure this kind of thing couldn't happen again even though it's a freakish accident, they wanted to make sure that their patrons and guests felt safe and that's the one recourse they could have taken.
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this press briefing it set to begin at any moment and hopefully we can get clarity on what disney can do moving forward and what the family can do to find closure in this, jake. >> we are awaiting a press conference from the orange county, florida, sheriff to give an update and we're expecting to deliver the bad news. we've been told that the toddler's body has been recovered after the alligator attack. i want to bring in dina ferry. forgive me if i interrupt you when the press conference starts. you have a lot of background in reptile behavior. how common is an attack like this, an alligator going after a child or a human? >> since they have been keeping records since 1948, there's only been around 300 attacks, which comes out to be about five a year. >> another family in the uk is
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telling media there that an alligator chased them off the same beach area a few weeks ago. do you know anything about that and should tourists expect, if they go to a water area in florida, that this might happen? >> the biggest -- i have not heard anything about that but the biggest thing to remember, it is florida. we have alligators. they inhabit water. just things to -- you know, if you're going to be near the water, swimming in the water, alligators are most active from does being to dawn. do it during the day, not in the evenings, not early, early morning. don't feed alligators. a lot of people habituate alligators to come close to humans by tossing food to them and that habituates the alligators to not fear humans. there's several things that humans can do to be wise and
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wary of where you are. >> to be completely candid, i'm not a reptile expert and i don't live in florida so alligators are not on my mind. i know there are signs on that lagoon about no swimming and i think some of them even have a picture of an alligator, but is there -- we're holding up a picture. it's just a no swimming sign. there's no alligator in there. but here's the question. do you think most people who visit central and south florida, who are not reptile experts who don't know necessarily how prevalent alligators are in the waters of florida, do you think that there need to be more warning signs? >> you know, i don't know -- it couldn't hurt. i don't know if that's going to be the answer. in the zoo business, we always say, we put up signs but a lot of the info shows people don't read signs. they just don't. there are signs everywhere. it doesn't mean that they are going to read them. i don't know what more can be done. you know, if it's pamphlets that
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go out to people coming to the state. whatever it is, you're talking -- it's a major undertaking and major research to be done to look at what would be the most active and beneficial. >> dino, when people go to the everglades, they expect there will be alligators. i don't know that most people go to a disney resort and figure that there will be alligators in the manmade lakes. crews have pulled five from that lake. how many could be in that water? >> the problem with florida, because it's on wetlands, most of the waterways are connected one way or another. so if an alligator is here today, it could be two miles down the road, four creeks, four ponds and a road over. they have fairly large area that they can go around. it's tough to say.
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they could be anywhere where there is fresh water here in florida. >> i can't imagine there's anything one can do if they are attacked by an alligator. you're an expert. tell me. >> the best advice is to hit them smack in the nose and the snout and that usually makes a reflex where they open their mouth up and then you can free yourself. the worst thing to do is pry whenever you try to pry an alligator or crocodile mouth open, it snaps down tighter and stronger. >> thank you for your expertise. really appreciate it. let's go back to boris sanchez. we are awaiting the orange county florida sheriff who is going to give a press conference. we are expecting him to give the grim news that the boy's body has been recovered and obviously that he has not survived the attack.
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boris, how is disney responding to this tragedy beyond closing down the beaches at their resort? is there any sentiment expressed that it should have been labeled better or more warning signs in what are they saying? >> they have not given any indication or any answers to the questions about warning signs and that sort of thing. basically saying that the whole thing is still under investigation. they have said, however, that they are devastated that this took place and it's very important to point out, jake, as you said, there were signs that said no swimming but, in reality, this toddler wasn't exactly swimming, less than a foot in. the water was essentially at his ankles. so could there have been more of a warning to make sure nobody got in the water? that's a question that investigators will certainly ask and you can bet the pressure will be put on disney, if they
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were never meant to be accessible, why were they accessible. >> there is a report in the uk in a british newspaper that a british couple says they were on that same beach weeks ago and an alligator chased them off and they told the people at the park has anybody at disney acknowledged it or has there been any comment on it by the sheriff's department? >> noing, i cannot tell you that. over the past two weeks there have been alligators consuming human bodies in the water but those were very different situations, after further investigation officials revealed that those people had drowned and then the alligator approached them. nothing like the alligator coming to the shore to grab
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someone. again, something that is exceedingly rare, freakish, as described before. >> boris, tell us about the scene last night at the disney park. were there a lot of people there? have the parents come forward to talk about the horror that they are going through? >> reporter: the parents have not come forward, jake. we are not sure if they are going to at this point, frankly. from a witness that described the area, it was closed off almost immediately. authorities were on the scene very quickly. again, with quite a bit of resources out there, from what we understand. there were quite a few people gathered in the lobby of the hotel. they began to ask questions. this is according to sources, what they told cnn and disney essentially told them it's best to move away, to leave the situation alone right now. so there hasn't been any kind of indication tuesday how the parents are feeling but obviously with all of the beaches closed down and all of the bodies of water on disney
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under very heavy vigilance, they are trying to do what they can at this point to prevent something like this from happening again, no matter how small of a chance it will actually occur. >> i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." we were told the orange county florida sheriff jerry demings giving an update and wore expected bad news about that little boy, that 2-year-old who was wading in the water at disney's grand floridian resort in a manmade lake at that resort when his parents were nearby, that he was snatched by an alligator. the father jumped in the water and tried to rescue his son. unfortunately, that was a few ti futile task. all night there has been a recovery operation under way. they have been draining the manmade lake and found other
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alligators and we believe that the sheriff is about to give the devastating news that the body of the 2-year-old boy has been found. obviously there are a lot of angles to this story in terms of the disney organization, alligators in florida. but the center of it all, of course, is the pain being felt by that family and how devastating that is. i think all of us who are parents can imagine going to a disney resort and allowing a 2-year-old to just walk in the water, in the shallow end, and not expect something horrible like this to happen. boris sanchez is with us. we're expecting this press conference at any moment. tell us about the lengths to which the sheriff's department and others have been searching
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this manmade lake and the area to try to rescue this little boy. >> well, from what we've heard, this has been more than an 18-hour search. there were several boats sent out equipped with sonar trying to detect anything under water. there were divers sent in and it was also an alligator trapper that we believe was instrumental in capturing the five alligators that you mentioned before that were examined to see if any evidence tied them to the attack on this little boy. there were also infrared cameras trying to look into the night to see if anything may have been spotted. so it was certainly a definite strong, heartfelt effort to try to find this child. there were so many challenges facing them. not only the size of the body of water that they had to search, how many canals were connected to it and other bodies of water
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connected to it as well. there could have been so many places for this alligator to potentially hide. the other aspect of this, of course, is the fact that they expected the daytime to assist them. we were hoping when they got here and called the press briefing that they had better news. sadly, the daylight didn't necessarily change the equation when it came to searching for this young child. and i should tell you, jake, this has been kind of a rough week for disney. it's not just this story but we've also heard that disney world parks and areas were being scouted out by the orlando nightclub shooter. also, disney shanghai opened today, a park that came under a lot of scrutiny. so disney itself is in the news quite a bit. not necessarily for great
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reason. and then there was also a shooting, singer christina grimmie shot at one of her concerts and then this a few days later. i've never seen the sequence of news that we've gotten out of orlando in sauch short span of time. it's really something that i think is rattling, eye-opening for those that live in the city. >> let's bring back dino ferri. he's director of the central florida zoo and an expert on reptile behavior. dino, this is a 2-year-old. i don't know how big the alligators are in florida or if it matters but would a child make him more of a target than adult? >> yes, sadly it would. you know, most adults --
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alligators may not have the billingest brain but they can eyeball enough at what they are looking at prey-wise. if it's an adult, it's not worth their energy to try to get it most of the time. so something smaller definitely could have been more enticing. >> and you were talking earlier about the timing of the attack. it was in the evening, at around 8:30 or 9:00. why is that significant? >> that's their most active time -- in an alligator's life is from does being until dawn. when it's hot and in the middle of the day, it's secluded and they are avoiding all of the commotion, the heat, et cetera. they come out mainly to feed in the evenings through early morning. >> you've lived in florida for many years. alligators, of course, are part of the environment there. florida was built on a swamp. alligators lived there before humans did. does this attack surprise you? >> it saddens us.
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i think it saddens everybody. obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to everybody. it's disturbing. roughly, there are five attacks a year that happens. >> five fight tal attacks? >> no. five attacks. i believe in the number that florida fish & wildlife keeps, there's only been 23 fatalities over 300 attacks. >> while we're waiting for the orange county sheriff, we're going to bring you some other breaking news. right now we've been told that egypt has found the wreckage of the plane. of course, you remember it was 27 days ago when egypt flight 804 disappeared from radar over the mediterranean sea along with 66 passengers and crew on board. let's go to cnn aviation
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correspondent rene marsh. rene, where was the plane and how was it finally located? >> jake, we are just getting this information in realtime as i speak to you. the egyptian government is saying that they found several mainly indications of wreckage of egyptair 804. it crashed in the mediterranean on may 19th. we don't know exactly what portions of the aircraft have been found but we do know a significant amount of the wreckage has been discovered at this point. of course, the key is that part of the plane, perhaps the tail where the black box would be located, that's the critical piece that is still missing and they really need to get their hands on just a couple of days ago they were saying that the pingers, which is that signal that is emitted to help searchers find it, that is supposed to die, the battery on that is supposed to die in another ten days.
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it truly has been a race against time but now this breaking news that they have been able to find the wreckage. again, we don't know the size of the wreckage, the part of the plane that was discovered or where the aircraft body was located. the details are just coming in as i speak to you. this is good news. as you know, they have had assets under water as well as above water searching for significant pieces of this aircraft and wreckage because essentially this investigation is stalled until they get their hands on that. they need to get their hands on the wreckage as well as those black boxes in order to start filling in the many, many blanks that we have, which is, was it something mechanical or nefarious that took this passenger plane out of the sky. this is good news to hear. at least they have identified some pieces but we are still waiting to see what pieces of the aircraft that is.
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that's still remaining. >> rene marsh, we'll come back to you as you learn more. thank you for that breaking news. update, just to recap, we are waiting right now for the orange county florida sheriff to give a statement. we were told originally the statement would be at 4:00 eastern. it's now 4:20. we're waiting for jerry demings, the sheriff to come forward. we are expecting him to give bad news, devastating news about that 2-year-old boy that was snatched by an alligator while wading in a manmade lake at the disney resort in lake buena vista, florida, specifically at disney's grand floridian resort. we are waiting for the sheriff to come to the podium to give that news and, borrow sanchez, let me bring you back.
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you were talking about this just a minute ago but what a devastating week it has been in orlando, not even broadly the state of florida but specifically orlando. you and your crew went down to orlando saturday morning to cover the horrific shooting of a singer. sunday morning there was the worst gun shooting, mass shooting in the united states' history in orlando and then last night this horrific, horrific incident of a 2-year-old boy snatched by an alligator. all of these events tragic. >> all of them absolutely tragic. when we first got word of the nightclub shooting, we didn't know how bad it was going to be. it seemed like it had a potential to be historic and as
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it unfolded. and something so seemingly out of a hollywood movie. i'll give you my personal story. i grew up in south florida. my parents have a home on a canal. i grew up with this. you were always cautious around them but never perceived as a threat. you called animal patrol right away, someone came out and they monitored it. if it was a certain size, it was removed but it was never something that you thought you were in immediate danger and then something like this happens and obviously it rocks your perspective. you said it best. this family on vacation at the happiest place on earth at a beach and enjoying themselves. other families were on that beach as well, witnesses tell us. and you look up one second and your child is essentially snatched by this alligator. the parents did what any parents would do.
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they immediately sprang into action. the father, we have heard from sheriff official, injured his hands trying to wrestle with the alligator. they couldn't do anything. they tried to run and grab a lifeguard who was at a nearby pool. this wasn't a lifeguard for the lagoon but at a nearby pool. it was some distance away from the lagoon, by the time the lifeguard got there, you can imagine, the child was gone. officials were called in and they put in this great effort. as late as this morning, they were still telling us they had not given up hope. they were going to keep hoping that the child overcame mounting odds against his survival and, sadly, again, all of the factors that the child was facing were just -- i mean, they were really hoping for a miracle and sadly, today, we have to report that that miracle did not happen and
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in just a few moments, we're expecting that he's going to deliver the tragic news that the 2-year-old did not survive this attack from the alligator. >> one thing, boris, as somebody who has spent time living in florida, i have to say, as a nonfloridian, i don't know that i would have been on my guard. i don't know that i would have expected or even thought about the possibility of an alligator and i imagine that these parents who have gone through this staying at a resort that it would even cross their mind that in a lagoon area, there's a marking that says no swimming but the idea that there might be an alligator in there, that might be something that a resident of florida might think but i don't think a nonfloridian, that it would even cross their mind. >> oh, without question. i mean, this family was from nebraska. it's not like they have experience with swamp life in nebraska. again, i'm not familiar with the family themselves. maybe they have been to florida
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before but, i mean, the other thing about this is, it's not just that they were in a lagoon. it's a lagoon on the walt disney property where everything is so manicured and micromanaged. it's really one of the safest places you could be. so to have something like this happen kind of jars that image and disney world has had its issue before, people getting hurt on rides and that kind of thing but this is on a different level altogether. as we heard from the sheriff, disney is doing all they can to comfort the family but what you say to parents that had to watch their child get snatched away this way, there are few words that you can give to someone. it appears that the sheriff is walking over to the podium. we'll hear what he has to say in a moment. >> all right. we're expecting orange county sheriff jeremy demings to come to the microphone to deliver the
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tragic news that the 2-year-old boy who was snatched while stranding in the water of a manmade lake by an alligator, his body has been recovered and did not survive the ordeal. >> good afternoon. speaking right now will be sheriff jerry demings from the orange county sheriff's office and followed by the florida da fish & wildlife conservation commission. sheriff demings? >> okay. we're hear this afternoon to give you an update on where we are with this recovery effort. we'll share with you that we just met with the family, spent some time with them and delivered this update. at about 1:45 today, members of the orange county sheriff's
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office dive team located what is believed to be the remains of the deceased, a 2-year-old and i'll identify him in just a few moments. at about 3:30 today, we recovered the remains of the 2-year-old from the water and that body has now been turned over to the orange county medical office for an autopsy. the family, i'm going to go ahead and identify the parents are matt and melissa graves from elkhorn, nebraska. their 2-year-old is lane graves. i will share with you that the child was found, his body was
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completely in tact and so at this time we will go through the formality of making a formal identification. but there's no reason for us to believe that the body that was recovered is not that of lane graves. the effort to continue with the wildlife management here at disney will go forward. i'm going to turn it over at this time to the executive director for fwc who will share with you more details about their efforts. director? >> yes, sir. thank you, sheriff demings. well, first, again, we just want to say that our thoughts and prayers are with this family on behalf of our entire agency and
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we are terribly heartbroken at this outcome. i want to thank sheriff demings and the orange county sheriff department throughout this entire tragedy. they have been great to work with and they are a true benefit to this community. i want to thank disney. they have been totally cooperative. although we have some sort of closure to this, our investigation is still ongoing and we're going to continue to evaluate the evidence that we have and we're going to try to continue searching. we're going to make certain that we have the alligator that was involved and that we remove it from the lake. so we're going to either verify that we've already captured that alligator through forensic work or continue to look for an alligator until we find the right one. we'll also continue to work with disney as they work to continue to address alligators in the park and continue that strong partnership. with that, that concludes my
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remarks. thank you. >> the family has asked that we do deliver a message to you and the message is that they do appreciate you will of the prayers that have gone forward to allow those of us who are working on the professional side to do our jobs to recover their son so that they can move forward at this time with the proper burial and so on behalf of that family, i'll deliver that message to you. i will tell you that it was a tough message to deliver to them to let them know that at this point, their child is dead. so at this time, we will entertain a few questions. >> [ inaudible ]? >> how important is it to find the alligator? are you fearful he will do it again or something? >> again, there were several
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alligators located and i'm going to let the fwc director kind of speak to you about the process that they use to try to confirm whether or not one of the alligators that have been located is the right one or not. >> sheriff, just really quickly, we're going to look at the five alligators that we've already taken and we're going to compare things like bite marks. it's still early in that part of the investigation. there's a good chance we have that alligator because we focused on the area where the incident occurred. we're going to go through the process and if we can't get a confirmation, we'll make sure we've done the due diligence to make sure we take the alligator out. >> where did you find the alligator? >> sheriff? >> i believe the question is where did we find the child?
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>> yes. >> he was within the immediate area where he was last seen. took some time to go through and make certain the waters are kind of murky but our divers were able to locate the body. we used sonar equipment and other means to go in and recover the remains. >> the body was found in tact. is it your belief that the child was dragged into the water and drowned? >> i believe -- of course, the autopsy has to confirm that but there's likely no question, in my mind, that the child was drowned by the alligator. >> [ inaudible ]? >> was the sign sufficient to warn people in the area that -- >> there are signage in the area that says no swimming? >> anything about alligators? >> disney will look at all of their protocols i'm sure going
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forward. >> do you recommend that they added a those signs saying that there could be gators in these waters? >> this is a partnership, i will tell you, and our ultimate concern is about the safety of the guests here at disney as well as the public and as the investigation continues, we'll continue our death investigation with the orange county sheriff's office and i'm certain there will be opportunities in the future to look at what has occurred here and see if it can be prevented in the future. >> [ inaudible ]? >> we will get to the spanish media in just a moment. >> what process are they going to [ inaudible ]? >> i think the director just kind of explained that process to you about what they will do to ensure that they have the right gator. >> can you give us more detail about what the family was doing along the shore? were they in the water? what exactly were they doing? >> the family was vacationing.
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there's a play pen -- a regular pool nearby. it's a beach-like area and they were sitting there enjoying the evening and they have a 4-year-old child. there was a play pen nearby but this 2-year-old was just along the edge of the bank playing in the water when this occurred. >> do you believe that the signage is inefficient, sheriff? >> [ inaudible ]? >> i delivered the message along with a priest, a catholic priest and of course the family was distraught but also i believe somewhat relieved that we were able to find their son with his body in tact, one. and, two, that he was located so that they can come to grips with what has happened. >> how far out and how deep of water? >> you have seen the signs.
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it says no swimming. the child wasn't swimming. it was just wading and yet there's nothing to suggest that there is a danger and it's a beach area. do you think the way the beach and signage is there is wrong? >> i'm not going to comment on that at this time. disney will look at all of those particular issues. >> can you talk about any [ inaudible ] concerning the policies or regulations surrounding gators being this close to area where children are? because we didn't know that our waters carry alligators like this. did you guys talk about that? >> well, any time there's a tragedy like this, we definitely will work with everyone involved to try to determine if there's something we can learn, if we can do something better to make sure this never happens again and we'll certainly be doing
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that but that's an ongoing process that we'll have to take some time to work through. >> does that include changing regulations? >> it could include anything. i will say we'll take a careful look and try to learn from whatever happened here. >> [ inaudible ]? >> we have not gotten any reports of feeding gators. >> when is the last time you received a complaint of gators here at disney anywhere on the property? >> disney has a very proactive program for identifying and removing alligators that are losing their fear of people or otherwise might be a risk and they remove numbers of alligators routinely. they can call a trapper or even their own staff are allowed to take out alligators when they see one that is a problem.
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you don't have the numbers for you. we don't get complaints because it's an open process. >> sir, how deep of water was this? >> i'm just going to estimate it was, i don't know, 10 to 15 yards out and not quite sure how deep. maybe what i was told was approximately 6 feet deep in the water. but we will take measuresments and all of that. >> sheriff, were there other people in the water in addition to this child and was what this child was doing permissible, in your view? was he doing anything that he shouldn't have been doing? >> there were no other people in the water at the time and i believe what this 2-year-old was doing is perhaps what any 2-year-old might be doing as well. thank you all. we shared the bit of information that we can share at this time.
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>> you've been listening to orange county florida sheriff demings giving an update. he said his crews using sonar equipment in this manmade lake recovered the body of the 2-year-old boy. his name was lane graves. he was the son of matt and melissa graves of elk horn, nebraska. the body was apparently found, quote, within the immediate area where the child, lane graves, was last seen. he said that the body of the child was completely intact and that was the update he noted when asked about the signage at the manmade lake if there was enough signage. he would not comment on that, as you might imagine he would not. and when asked if there was anything unusual about the
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2-year-old, he did note that the 2-year-old wading in the water was doing what any 2-year-old might be doing in a similar situation. it is a horrific story and i'm sure we can all identify with the parents if one goes to a resort, one does not expect that a 2-year-old wading in a manmade lake that anything like this might happen to him or her. let's bring in cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. the sheriff saying that lane graves' body was found intact and there will be an autopsy. does it say anything to you that the body was found intact?
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>> well, you heard the sheriff say that the cause of death was drowning which is what you would expect but they want to see if there is water within the lungs, things like that. so that's going to be identification that has been made. that's typically. but first the job of a medical examiner and now the autopsy is going to answer some of those questions. also, any marks on the body will help identify which particular alligator as well. that's information that the medical examiner can help provide to the wildlife folks to try and identify the particular alligator. cause and manner of death is something that they are going to spend time and should have a conclusive answer about. >> dr. sanjay gupta, thank you so much. let's bring back dino ferri, an
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expert on the behavior of reptiles. did you hear anything notable, anything that surprised you? >> no, not really. nothing out of the ordinary that you wouldn't expect, unfortunately. it's good that, you know, the body was found intact. that could be a number of reasons. it's hard to say why. it could be because they were in the water and it startled the animal off. the parents were looking for the child and it startled the animal off. it's really hard to say but tragic for sure. >> very, very tough and very, very difficult to talk about in a breaking news situation and i thank you so much. still ahead, we'll bring you some other news about the other horrific tragedy out of orlando, the wife of the terrorist who killed 49 people at that gay nightclub in orlando, an official says that she knew of her husband's thrift to attack. could that lead to charges?
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welcome back to "the lead." he killed 49 people at a gay club and today pressing questions on what exactly the orlando terrorist's wife knew. cnn fnow learning that the d.a. wants to bring evidence before a grand jury. would that indicate that they are hoping to charge her? >> reporter: well, we know that they have evidence that they want to bring before this grand jury. to bring it before the grand jury is not a decision to charge. the grand jury has to consider the evidence and then you take the next step. let's consider the evidence that we're aware of so far. we know that the wife has said that the attacker, the shooter told her he was considering carrying out a jihadist attack. it wasn't specific but he was talking about that. we know that she accompanied him to the nightclub prior to the attack as well as to other locations here in the orlando area, including disney properties, which investigators
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believe were casing missions. in effect, evaluating those places as potential targets. so that's what we know in addition to whatever answers she's been giving investigators during those conversations. they are going to put that before a grand jury to decide if there is enough to charge her. it's a significant legal step. >> jim, we also learned today from sources that the terrorist in question made phone calls during the attack to a local television station. what can you tell us about that? >> to a local television station as well as to a friend to say good-bye, in effect. but it's what he said during that call to the television station and cnn has spoken to the producer who picked up the line when the call happened. he said, as he had said in the 911 calls the night of the attack, that he was doing this for isis, for the islamic state. and he also asked the question of the station, do you know about the shooting? in effect, he wanted the shooting to be covered. finally, jake, i'll just add this. we spoke to a witness inside
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that bathroom with the shooter as he was making these calls. he also said this in those conversations. he said that there were snipers outside. he said there was a suicide bomber hidden inside that club so he was claiming that there were other accomplices. he was trying to incite that fear. >> jim sciutto, thanks. we'll come back with more about the orlando terrorist attacks. stay with us. wrely on the us postal service?
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obviously, law enforcement officials tasked with protecting this nation from terrorism have an extremely, impossibly difficult job and it only takes one slipping through the cracks to cost lives. that said, a review of the orlando terrorist attack and several others in recent years
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raising some uncomfortable questions about whether current methods for screening are effective because numerous red flags have been missed. is this incompetence, is it common human error or is it a reluctance to be seen as overly judgmental? omar mateen who murdered 49 at pulse nightclub sunday morning had been interviewed three times over possible terrorist views and ties. he had been put on a watch list for ten months but was removed due to lack of evidence. in november of 2009, almost immediately after army major nidal hasan murdered 30 at a shooting rampage in ft. hood, an fbi agent said, "you know who that is? that's our boy."
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boston marathon bomber, tamerlan tsarnaev, was known to the officials. russian security officials told the american counterparts that tamerlan tsarnaev was planning to travel to russia to fight long chechnya. they investigated tsarnaev and his family and, quote, found no link or nexus to terrorism. in 2013, he went on a killing spree and brown said he did this to protest u.s. foreign policy and wrote in his journal that he planned to, quote, learn the way of jihadis. according to federal prosecutors, he had been on a terrorist watch list. in 2009, a muslim convert, killed a soldier and wounded another at an army recruiting station in arkansas.
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he, too, was known to the fbi ever being arrested in yemen and investigated for jihadi leanings. what's going on? joining me now is a man with plenty of experience trying to piece together intelligence information, former director of the cia, four-star general michael hayden. we invited the fbi to come and answer these questions. they declined. what do you make of these instances where individuals were known to have terrorist views or ties or possible leanings and yet the fbi looked at them and concluded they were not threats and, you know, flash forward, fast forward, people are dead? >> the natural instinct is one of disappointment. before people make a final judgment on that, let me as an intelligent professional offer a few other facts. you mentioned half a dozen cases. all of them ended up very sadly. that's the numerator.
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what's the denominator? how many cases did the bureau have to investigate over that period of similar people? >> thousands, i would guess. >> actually, tens of thousands. so that's one. second, jake, we have to understand the reality that when they investigated these people, these people may not have been in the place that they finally ended up in when they committed these acts and then, finally, and we knew this when i was in government as we turn to the bureau to be a domestic intelligent services, says it must be. that's a change in culture for the bureau. you're taking what is largely a law enforcement agency, jake, and now making it, the phrase we used, they needed to investigate the spaces between cases. they had to investigate and gather information without a criminal predicate. no, ma' out of the gig, it begins to bump up a whole lot of political cultural questions in the united
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states with regard to the authority of any police force. >> and civil liberties. your second point was about interviewing people. listen to james comey. >> our work is very challenging. we're working for needles in a nationwide haystack but also having to call upon which pieces of hay may become needles. that's hard work. if we can find a way to do that better, we will. >> look, i agree with everything you're saying. it's an impossible job. i wouldn't want to be given that task. let me also ask, is it possible that people are being politically incorrect in when the army knew that nadal hasan had been talking to and e-mailing with anwar al awlaki, is there a hesitance to be branded a bigot? >> knowing what i know about the
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hasan case, i tend you to agree with you. i think the army backed away from this for want of a better word, political correctness. they didn't want to bite off another issue. we are all sensitive about religious liberty. in that case, i'm with you. i think we clearly did not do some things that we should have done. >> we don't want to paint with a broad brush, the 1.5 billion throughout the world. obviously if they are extremists, that's a whole different thing. does law enforcement have the tools it needs? does the taxpayers give enough money, are there enough men and women on the ground? >> right now, the bureau is under resourced to handle those cases that you and i discussed, thousands and tens of thousands and what do you do after you've let someone go, saying he's not a danger at this time if you had more resources, you might be
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able to check in every now and again. number one, the bureau probably needs more resources if we want them to do this. and that's a separate question. beyond that, the bureau probably needs more tools if we want them to do this. they made more authorities to use the whole rack of things that they are allowed to do in a criminal case in a case that i described before to you, jake, is not an american about whom they have suspicions. how far do you want them to go? do you want them to go into the facebook account and e-mails and so forth? recall christmas day 2009. >> the failed underwear bomber. >> the plane went over detroit. jake, up to christmas eve, there was a national outcry and far too many people on the no fly list. by christmas night, the national complaint was there was not
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enough people on the no fly list so when this dies down, you're going to have someone else in this chair complaining about what the federal bureau of investigation is doing. >> thank you for the analysis. i'm sure the fbi appreciates you standing up for what they try to do. >> they do. >> that's it for "the lead." i'm wolf blitzer and turning it over to you in "the situation room." happening now, federal case, prosecutors now planning to present evidence against the orlando gunman's wife before a grand jury. cnn has learned she told investigators she knew he wanted to commit a terror act. will she face charges? last calls. new details of the killer's final conversations. chilling calls to an old friend and a local tv station during his three-hour rampage. what did he say? mosque